This article was published on September 28, 2016

Yes, there’ll be ads in VR – but they needn’t be shitty

Yes, there’ll be ads in VR – but they needn’t be shitty
Brian de Graft
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Brian de Graft

Junior Marketer

Brian is a Junior Marketer on The Next Web’s Events team. He writes articles and social media posts for our conferences, plus other text-rel Brian is a Junior Marketer on The Next Web’s Events team. He writes articles and social media posts for our conferences, plus other text-related bits and bobs.

Each week we’re profiling one promising company that’s been selected for SCALE – our early-stage startup growth program. Catch up with 60 of the world’s hottest startups at TNW Momentum in New York on November 16th.

This week we bring you VIRE, a startup looking to revolutionize advertising within virtual and augmented experiences. We asked Co-founder Philipp Steuer some questions and can’t wait to find out more about VIRE at SCALE.

Tell us what you do in two sentences

VIRE is a Native Advertising platform for Virtual & Augmented Reality content. Combined with a strong tracking, our vision is to build the future of advertising in an upcoming media without shitty banner ads.

A before and after look at VIRE’s VR product placement

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What’s your origin story? How did the company get started?

A direct message via Twitter on the 6th of November 2015 was the initial ignition for VIRE. I got contacted by one of our investors, and we met to have lunch and talk about upcoming digital trends. During the conversation, we tried to imagine how advertisements could work in virtual and augmented experiences – in the best possible way.

Because doing is better than over-thinking, I recruited my Co-founders Nils and Max in Cologne, and together we started VIRE in April 2016. Today our alpha is working, and we’re testing the first ad-placements with some interesting partners. Very soon we’ll enable everyone to integrate product placements within their VR and AR experiences. Furthermore, we’re defining new ad formats and standards, including KPIs, to quantify those new ad-experiences into meaningful data.

Who is your biggest rival and why are you better than them?

We’re glad that there are other players like Gamewheel our Immersv, because it would be pretty boring without them! But our focus is completely different – with our solution you can monetize, advertise and track every Virtual and Augmented Reality content in an easy and user-friendly way. We’re not restricted to games and are currently negotiating with an art-fair to integrate our technology in their future VR-artshow and showrooms for companies. Plus: We deliver the most progressive VR & AR tracking solution that is currently available, and we all know that data is key!

Get rich or change the world – which is more important and why?

We are on our mission to protect the upcoming Virtual and Augmented Worlds from horrible advertising. Of course, money is important – it’s the fuel that keeps the engine running. But if we will shoot up high and therefore run out of fuel, I am confident that we, as a team, will figure out a solution. Because of that, the answer is easy: Changing the world > Getting rich.

Tell us one weird fact about a member of your team

I don’t want to make my lovely co-founders look like fools, so here’s a weird fact about me: I’ve got a Google+ (+1) Tattoo on my right wrist because of a lost bet.

If you weren’t working on VIRE, what would you be doing?

I hope this isn’t a lame answer, but we are so thrilled to make VIRE huge that we can’t imagine doing anything else!

What are you hoping to get out of SCALE?

We look forward to meeting interesting, like-minded people and getting their feedback on VIRE. Because feedback is the core essence of progress. Additionally, we would love to show the world that there are other great, creative German cities for Startups besides Berlin. Come to Cologne if you’ve never been – it’s truly beautiful!

Also want your startup in front of 5,000 tech influencers in New York? There are limited spaces left for SCALE, so apply now.

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